Don’t believe anyone who says they’re enlightened.

Don’t believe anyone who says they’re enlightened.

When I was younger, the one thing I yearned for more than anything was to be able to channel my thoughts so that I could experience what Sankara called ‘non duality’ of mind. To gain knowledge in this field I lived as a sanyasin for extended periods in India, lived with the Cofis (a Native American Indian tribe) in the Amazon, took lessons from a Taoist community in China and sat at the feet of some of the world’s greatest spiritual teachers.

On the way I occasionally managed to slide into non duality mode – sometimes for fairly long periods. Then something would happen that made mincemeat of my mind and I was reminded of how easy it was to lose sight of the path.

A beloved teacher once said to me ‘Even a Buddha or Christ would have a great challenge to stay in a permanent state of enlightenment. It is something few human beings achieve.’

Having studied the world of chakras for over thirty years, I now fully understand what my teacher meant, because to stay permanently at the lofty height of enlightenment means that all five lower chakras have to vibrate in synchronised harmony and stay that way 24/7.   Four out of five isn’t enough and look what awaits us to successfully juggle in the lower world of chakras:

In the first chakra (Muladhara/root) which represents the world of Me and I, we are constantly tested to prove how much we like, love, trust and respect ourselves.

In the second chakra (Swadisthana/spleen), we have the world of relationships to keep afloat in loving harmony and are tested on how well we resolve family/partner/friend issues.

In the third chakra (Manipura/solar plexus) we are tested on whether we finish what we start (without falling apart!) and whether we live in equal balance with our spiritual and physical bodies.

In the fourth chakra, (Anahata, heart), we are tested on whether we show every day loving kindness and compassion to all and sundry.

In the fifth chakra, (Vishudda/throat) –it becomes obvious how well we have done in the four lower chakras because this is heard in our voice.  Our test here is to keep our voice harmoniously pitched even when speaking our truth (i.e when constructively criticizing another or sharing angry feelings). We are also expected to refrain from using harmful, hostile words or show any reflection of intolerance or reproach in our eyes.

Assuming, we have managed to juggle these five chakras successfully over a fair period of time, the purified, harmonised energy travels upwards into the sixth chakra (Ajna/third eye). This activates and opens the seventh chakra (Samashara/crown).

You might have thought that once you’d arrived at this ‘halleluyah moment’ it would be easy to keep the chakra wheels turning –  but – NO – the third eye can shut down in a flash at the first sign of arrogance or conceit..

I know we have all experienced glorious days and weeks when we are master jugglers. Then someone insults us, lies, steals from us or treats us unfairly and chakras down the line wobble out of harmony.  It’s frustrating enough that we have to start over but what makes it worse is that the monster that lives inside us (known to the world as EGO), loves nothing more than when we slip from grace because as busy as we are trying to bring our chakra lessons into balance, Ego’s as busy trying to upset the apple cart.  Ego could be described as the bouncer who stands outside each chakra, doing its best not to let us in because if we did reach enlightenment and stay there, Ego would be out of a job.  Every time we sink back into insecurity, become fearful, dislike ourselves or fall apart, ego takes its opportunity to torment us with our weaknesses.  It’s like a pesky leech and the only way to get its clingy suckers off us is to consciously challenge it to stay away every day.Juggler

Every morning I visualise myself drowning ego in a bucket of vinegar and throwing its carcass to the wind.  I then call on ‘higher minds’ assistance to steer me through the day by using an affirmationjuggle like this one: ‘Today I successfully juggle my lower five chakras through any challenges that might await. I approach everything with love, humour and grace and express this through my voice and in my body language.  Thank you higher mind for staying around to prod me if it looks like I’m steering off course’.

Before I go to bed I take my notepad and jot down how well (or not!) I did in each of the five lower chakras and how I intend to better my performance in any chakras that showed weakness the following day.

Some days you’ll find will prove real ‘halleluyah’ days…others will have you jumping up and down on ego’s fat butt!  However, the longer you keep up the above practise, the more glory days you’ll have so give those chakras a spin now to get them started and…

Happy Juggling.

Jaylen Grace is the author of Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment)   jaylengrace.com    @jaylengrace

 

 

The Subject Tonight is Love

The Subject Tonight is Love

My wish is for more love to fill the world and for couples to feel more loving kindness in their hearts.

 

This poem by Hafiz, which has been translated here by Daniel Ladinsky says it all.  It is called

‘It happens all the time in heaven’

It happens all the time in heaven and some day

It will begin to happen again on earth

That men and women who are married, and men and women who are lovers

And women and women who give each other light

Often will get down on their knees

And while so tenderly holding their lover’s hand

With tears in their eyes, will sincerely speak, saying

‘My dear, How can I be more loving to you –

How can I be more kind?’

1512322_263213883828891_1804113530_n

How to Live without regret.

How to Live without regret.

The Past, Behind YouYou can carry your pain like a cut, or put a plaster on it and get on with life.

Put an end to pain. What’s the use of carrying regret into tomorrow? We can all look back and think ‘I must have been mad to be in that relationship!’ or ‘I must have been crazy to marry that person!’

I used to beat myself up about some of the foolish things I brought into my life. I used to ask – Why did I do that? Why did I make such a poor decision?  In the end I shrugged such negative thoughts off. I understood they were part of my growing process and that my choices were based on what was going on in my head and what I thought I needed at the time.

My biggest learning curve came when I was able to differentiate between ‘need and want.’  This means we should bring more awareness to our state of mind when sending our messages out into the universe – because we do so often get what we ask for.  If our ‘need’ is to find a wealthy partner is strong enough, chances are one will pop out of the woodwork, but such relationships often come with a price tag. For example, our lover might have the material riches we sought but leave us with empty hearts because money is all they can offer.

Know what your heart and soul wants. Don’t give into insecurity. Don’t go for glossy, go for depth. And whatever you do, don’t listen to the mind because what it thinks it wants today is no guarantee it will want the same tomorrow. However, should you listen to it, and it turns into another learning curve, don’t curse it, or wallow in regret. We are constantly evolving so don’t kick yourself for what you chose in the past. That was the level of your ‘being.’ Now your being is wiser.

A teacher once said to me ‘It’s OK to make a new mistake every day but only a foolish person makes the same mistake twice.’  I like that because there is so much freedom in the statement and it is also very wise.

Next time you find yourself on the same merry go round, laugh at your foolishness.

Say ‘Well, that’s definitely not something I want. What a lucky escape!’

Why regret? Life’s too short. Especially with so many merry go rounds still to ride.

Jaylen Grace is the author of Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment), Omzak The Space Cat Warrior and Porridge Two Faced Parrot.  www.jaylengrace.com

A Most Unusual Apprenticeship  (Rebirth Holistic Healing)

A Most Unusual Apprenticeship (Rebirth Holistic Healing)

                                                                                                                                      

(Rebirthing is a holistic healing therapy that works with mind, body and soul to cleanse toxic patterns and habits.  It involves a six stage breathing technique known as conscious connected breathing, which helps to unblock suppressed emotions and conditioning)

29404_425835237478048_749618179_n

 

On one of my annual trips to India many years ago, my teacher asked if I wanted to add Rebirthing Therapy to my holistic skills.

 I’d tried a session for myself and the results were phenomenal, so I nodded.

 ‘Good,’ my teacher said. ‘I have just one question before I train you – how do you truly feel about death?’

 ‘Erm.’ I scratched my head, wondering where to start.

 ‘Why not meditate on it?’ he said

 ‘OK,’ I said, uncertain what he wanted me to do. 

 He smiled. ‘Raj will pick you up tomorrow and take you to the Burning Gardens’.

I could feel the hairs on my arms stand up.  The Burning Gardens was where people were cremated! In the West all we saw was a coffin disappear inside an oven. In the East, nothing was left to the imagination.

‘Are you OK with that?’ my teacher asked. 

‘Fine,’ I said, wondering why I couldn’t meditate without the burning flesh element.

‘When you have finished, I would like you to write down your thoughts,’ he added, waving me out of the room.

The following day, rattling towards the crematorium in Raj’s auto, Raj filled me on the philosophy surrounding death in India. A Hindu didn’t fear it because he was taught to love life and death equally. He accepted the changes that came with life, and when he left his body, assuming he’d been a good person, could look forward to reaching Brahmaloka and receiving the gift of enlightenment.

When we passed through the gates into the Burning Gardens, I saw, scattered here and there, what looked like giant chicken coups. They were square wire structures with charred iron grates. The ‘coup’ looming in front of me bustled with people.  I sensed I’d reached my destination.

‘It’s OK. They know you are coming,’ Raj said, giving me a gentle push. 

I stood in front of the deceased, whose only visible parts were his feet and head because he was lying on a grate, encased in wood.  The relatives looked peaceful, and I felt relatively calm until a boy about 12, took a torch and set light to the pyre.  My mind went into overdrive. I had visions of one of the deceased’s limbs coming loose and falling out at my feet.

I pulled myself together and looked around. They were some wet eyes but the expression in them wasn’t fear like mine. It was love, compassion and good will. That got me thinking about what Raj had said about loving life and death equally. It started a process of thought about the importance of bringing this understanding into our everyday lives. Death wasn’t just something we faced when we took our last breath. We faced it, one way or another, for as long as we drew breath. I thought about how we prolonged suffering by holding on, instead of accepting it and moving on.  I thought about death, from the view of how entwined it was with life, and understood why my teacher had chosen this meditation.

That night in my room, rain crashing against the panes with a ferocity common in monsoon months, I thought about people who clipped their wings by refusing to be ‘reborn’ when something ended in their lives. I thought about the stupidity of prolonging suffering when all we had to do was ‘die’ to pain to remove burdens that belonged to the past. Relationships died. Circumstances changed and every change was a form of death.

I thought about people who’d worked like slaves, promising themselves they’d relax when they retired only to drop dead. It was a beautiful thought that they may have ended up in heaven or Brahmaloka, but there was no certainty of that. Since rebirthing had the potential to help people understand how they were killing themselves before their time – and give them the means to throw off the shackles of conditioning (as it had with me), I wanted to teach it more than ever.

The following morning I took my notes to my teacher

He smiled as he read them. ‘I am thinking you’re ready for your training?’

‘Yep, that meditation on death was a winner.’ I said.

 

Jaylen Grace is the author of Omtopia (The seven steps to enlightenment). She has been a Reiki master for 30 years.      www.jaylengrace.com

Love and Relationships – Blessing or Lesson? Give Love a Chance…

It is said when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. It is also said that some come into our lives as blessings or lessons. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend time with a man who fell into all three categories, and feel compelled to share how this ‘coincidence’ came about.

After lunch at a Greek restaurant last Sunday to celebrate a friend’s birthday, I came out of the bathroom to see someone I was convinced was a Greek guy I’d met in Athens some months earlier. He listened while I jabbered on in Greek and when I’d finished said: ‘That sounded fascinating. Perhaps you’d like to repeat it in English?’

‘Oh,’ I said. ‘I’m so sorry. You’re obviously not the Yianni – which means John in English – I thought I knew.’

‘Well, my name is John,’ he laughed. ‘And my Greek friends do call me Yianni.’

I cannot describe the degree to which I felt drawn to this stranger but left him in peace to eat his lunch and returned to my table. However, his energy field held me captive so when the meal was over, I wrote a spontaneous note and handed it to him as I left the restaurant.

‘Mum?’ my daughter quizzed me later. ‘Who was that man? What did you write?’

‘He’s someone my soul insists I know. I asked him whether he’d like to explore our karmic ties before I go back to Athens.’

‘Karmic ties!’ she guffawed. ‘He probably thinks you’re a nutcase!’

However, John called me the next day and when we met my soul new instinctively that he had much to teach me and my heart surrendered to the warmth in his eyes.

Remember that at this point I knew nothing about him but if I had to sum up my ideal partner, it would be someone who was spiritual without any trace of arrogance. Someone who laughed easily and made me laugh. Someone who wouldn’t make me feel guilty for tucking into roast beef or enjoying a glass of wine; and who could embrace a holiday in Las Vegas with the same enthusiasm as a yoga retreat in India.

Yes, you’ve guessed. John ticked all the boxes. He’d grown up with a mother who was a yogi and had taught him about meditation, yoga and spirituality from a young age. Much of his life had been devoted to helping others and he knew the Dala Lama well because they worked together on projects to assist people forced to live in exile. He also had a wicked sense of humour, was chivalrous and utterly charming.

There was no doubt that John enjoyed our time together. It was obvious in his every word and gesture. However, at the end of the evening there was no mention of when we might meet again. Perhaps he hadn’t felt the romantic love connection which had blossomed for me. It could be that he just felt compassion because I had reached out, and had kindly answered my call. You might imagine that I’m now feeling sad that our paths might never cross again, but to me that would be like slapping the universe in the face for granting me a wish.

Sometimes, the coming together of beautiful energies only has a life span of a minute whereas I had a whole evening to relish. I have learned in life that asking why we can’t have the whole cake when the mouthful we had was so delicious, is an insult to the gift we were given.

In my 30 years as a spiritual teacher and life coach, many have asked me ‘Why’ a relationship had to end or why the other person didn’t feel the same way they did.  As one of my beloved teachers (Osho) used to say ‘The answer to ‘Why’ is ‘Because’ – and since because has a long tail, don’t waste time on riddles and get on with your life.’

I stopped living in expectation years ago and shall continue giving myself wholly to life as it arises, knowing that what is meant to be will be – and that happiness – however fleeting is something to be treasured.

When we have to say goodbye, let us not grieve over our losses. Let our hearts sing with gratitude so that they are open to receive more.